ATLANTA – Richard H. (Dick) Lynch, chief brand officer of Popeyes, will step down following the close of Popeyes’ acquisition by Restaurant Brands International Inc.
Restaurant Brands International Inc., parent company of Burger King and Tim Hortons, announced its plans to acquire Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc. for $79 per share in cash, or $1.8 billion, in February.
Founded in New Orleans in 1972, Popeyes is one of the world’s largest quick-service restaurant chicken concepts, with more than 2,600 restaurants in the United States and 25 other countries. The acquisition will complement Restaurant Brands’ portfolio of more than 20,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries and US territories.
Lynch is known for being the architect of Popeyes Louisiana brand transformation, which was the foundation for the turnaround at Popeyes. His decision to transform the brand by focusing on Louisiana heritage shaped every aspect of the business including culinary innovation, marketing, advertising, employee experience, guest experience, communications and investor relations.
After choosing to leave the company after nine years, Lynch has continued to work closely with the incoming leadership team to ensure marketing and brand continuity through the transition. He has also been involved with the selection process for the new chief marketing officer.
“Dick has been a catalyst for Popeyes remarkable growth over the past nine years” said Cheryl Bachelder, former CEO of Popeyes. “His relentless focus on creating a product that our guests crave, coupled with his ability to recognize and develop talent at the restaurant support center, have been invaluable to the success of the brand."
During Lynch’s tenure at Popeyes, the share price has moved from $7.55 to the purchase price of $79, an increase of 946 percent.
“The health of the Popeyes brand, along with sustainable Louisiana brand differentiation led by Dick and his team, were among the factors that drew our attention to Popeyes,” said Daniel Schwartz, CEO of Restaurant Brands International. “Lynch leaves behind a legacy of success and growth. He and his team have laid a firm foundation upon which the brand can continue to grow for years to come.”
“When I was first approached about joining the Popeyes team, it was clear that the brand’s history and heritage were underleveraged,” Lynch said. “There was a significant opportunity to claim a space that even then we knew would elevate the brand. It was a transformative strategy that turned Popeyes into an unstoppable force, building quarter after quarter of same-store sales increases even while the economy struggled. It has been my distinct pleasure to work with the Popeyes leadership team in this ambitious endeavor and I look forward to my next venture.”